Your workday is coming to an end, you’re nowhere near finishing, rushing to complete the project that must be delivered first thing tomorrow morning. Sound familiar? Lacking planning and time management skills often lead to poor quality work and a cram session can take a toll on anyone. Meeting project deadlines without going crazy could be a challenge, but it’s not impossible.
Here are our top 5 tips to help you meet due dates:
Make a list of all your projects and due dates in one centralized place. An organizer will help you be on top of everything at once, and it’s your central tool to keep track of to-do lists, upcoming events and more. You can write them down in a paper calendar or notebook but also think of technology as an ally. In this era of digital transformation, there are many applications and software available to help you keep track of due dates and appointments and remain synchronized in all of your devices. Many of them have a functionality to configure reminders to pop up before the event.
Access priorities and plan ahead
The habit of planning ahead proves to be highly functional. Set aside the first minutes of your workday to go over your appointments and goals for the day in your mind. Determine what’s both urgent and important, and tend to that first. Then, think of what’s urgent but not so important, and consider delegating that if possible.
Break down a goal into separate pieces
Don’t just mark the final due date in your calendar and work from thereon. Instead, create groups of tasks, and set individual milestones and due dates for them. Keep track of how much time you needed to complete each step, then compare it against your original estimation. You can collect these lessons learnt and use it to your advantage next time, so you can estimate to be early and leave some extra time to handle last-minute complications.
Communicate progress and negotiate due dates
Once you’ve completed a stage of the project, reach out to your client and let them know. This will let them know you’re making progress, and you’re on schedule, even if it’s not the final product. Getting frequent feedback will help you detect and address potential problems at an early stage, so if something’s going wrong, it’s better to know sooner rather than later along the line.
For some, easier said than done. The number one challenge is to focus and get something done when you are constantly multitasking. Start by identifying and eliminating distractions: put on pause your e-mail if necessary, shut down all applications that are not currently being used, close tabs on your computer and open files. Don’t dwell on irrelevant details or decisions that bare low impact. Also, it could be a good idea to ask yourself why you’re putting off something in particular. Is this topic particularly difficult for you? Do you feel underprepared, intimidated or just plain bored? This can help you become aware of which situations you are wasting your time frequently, whilst shedding some light on your own skills at the same time.
Want to learn more? Contact your local Ataway office today, and become a top-notch consultant with our growing global, multicultural team of experts.